Social Media is taking on a more prominent role as a news source, with #Russia’s invasion of #Ukraine becoming one of the military conflicts that many observe through platforms such as #Twitter, #Instagram or #TikTok.
As social media is easily accessible, many use it to share their personal experiences, including the ones regarding the ongoing military conflict; especially because one does not need to be a professional journalist to post revealing content. One of such people is #ValeriaShashenok – a 20-year-old civilian and photographer documenting her experience of the war in Ukraine.
Since February, Valeria has been posting short videos on TikTok (@valerisssh) showcasing her life in the bunker with her family. With an ironic sense of humor, she recorded herself using a heat gun as a hairdryer and doing a shopping haul from a supermarket that has been emptied out since the war started. She also documented the damage the airstrikes have done to the town of #Chernihiv.
After 17 days in the bomb shelter, Valeria was forced to flee her country. She recorded her trip through #Kyiv to #Lviv and then to the town of #Przemyśl in #Poland. After a 5-hour wait at the border, she then travelled through #Łódź to #Warsaw. She openly stated that it was the most horrible trip of her life, while at the same time expressing her gratitude to the Ukrainian and Polish volunteers that she encountered along the way.
She continued posting content to TikTok about her day-to-day life as a #refugee in Poland. She filmed herself traveling through #Germany to #Milan in #Italy, where she has currently settled. Through the same platform, she announced the devastating news that her 18 years old brother had lost his life due to the military invasion of her country.
Despite the personal trauma she has been through, Valeria carries on with her social media presence. She continues to point out Vladimir Putin’s blame for the death of innocent civilians.